"The Many Faces of MALAYSIA" Malaysia by Krystynn
Malaysia Travel Guide: 27,830 reviews and 69,511 photos
No, this is not Tahiti. In fact, this is the beautiful country of Malaysia (see picture above).
Dangling like a woman's pendant from the tip of continental Asia, PENINSULAR MALAYSIA lies at the heart of South East Asia. Bordered in the north by Thailand, this verdant, tropical land stretches southwards before ending at the Straits of Johor which separates the Peninsular from the neighboring island of Singapore. Malaysia's Borneo states of SARAWAK and SABAH is located on the east, across the vast South China Sea.
With a long coastline of approximately 4,800KM (I think!) and over 200 islands, beaches are definitely one of Malaysia's natural assets. Soft-golden sand, secluded bays and spectacular tropical sunsets beckon a tourist/ traveler enticingly. Beyond her shores, warm clear waters and teeming marine life have delighted underwater adventurers for decades! And the many beach resorts here offer facilities for water-sports like water-skiing, boating, cruising, snorkelling, scuba diving and trips to offshore islands.
Wanna know another secret? The BEST beaches are found along the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Yes, those powdery beaches fringed by casuarinas and lapped by glassy aquamarine waters that you were always dreaming about in your sleep! They are all found here.
O.K., I'd leave you now to decide whether your next holiday destination should be Malaysia and whilst you're struggling with this huge decision... :-))
THE MALAYSIA FACTFILE:
Full country name: State of MALAYSIA
Area: 329,750 sq km (204,445 sq mi)
Population: 21.8 million (growth rate 2.3%)
Capital city: Kuala Lumpur (pop 1.2 million)
People: 50% Malay, 33% Chinese, 9% Indian, plus indigenous tribes such as Orang Asli and Iban
Language: Bahasa Malaysia (official language), English, Chinese dialects, Tamil, indigenous dialects
Religion: 52% Muslim, 17% Buddhist, 12% Taoist, 8% Christian, 8% Hindu, 2% tribal
Government: Parliamentary monarchy
Head of state: King - Tuanku Jaafar Abdul Rahman of Negri Sembilan
Prime Minister: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Monetary Unit: 1 Ringgit = 100 Sen
Main Exports: Electronic equipment, Petroleum and Liquefied Natural Gas, Chemicals, Palm Oil, Wood and Wood products, Rubber, Textiles.
Internet Domain: .my
International Dialing Code: +60
Visas: Commonwealth citizens and most European nationals do not need visas for visits of less than three months. Visitors are usually issued an extendable 30 or 60-day visa on arrival.
Health risks: Dengue fever, hepatitis, malaria, rabies
Time: GMT/UTC + 8 hours
Electricity: 220-240V, 50 Hz
Weights & Measures: Metric
Tourism: 6.5 million visitors in 1993 (320,000 visited East Malaysia)
Above info courtesy of: The Malaysia Tourism Board (2001)
Here's a brief chronology of key historical events:
14th century - Conversion of Malays to Islam begins.
1826 - British settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore combine to form the Colony of Straits Settlements, from where the British extend their influence by establishing protectorates over the Malay sultanates of the peninsula.
1895 - Four Malay states combine to form the Federated Malay States.
1942-45 - Japanese occupation.
1948 - British-ruled territories of Peninsula Malaysia set up Federation of Malaysia.
1948-60 - State of emergency to counter local communist insurgency.
1957 - Federation of Malaysia becomes independent from Britain with Tunku Abdul Rahman as prime minister.
1963 - British colonies of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore join the Federation of Malaysia.
1965 - Singapore withdraws from Malaysia, which is reduced to 13 states; communist insurgency begins in Sarawak.
1969 - Malays stage anti-Chinese riots in the context of increasing frustration over the economic success of the ethnic Chinese.
1970 - Tun Abdul Razak becomes prime minister following Abdul Rahman's resignation; forms National Front (BN) coalition.
Positive Discrimination for Malays:
1971 - Government introduces minimum quotas for Malays in business, education and the civil service.
1977 - Kelantan chief minister expelled from Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), triggering unrest, a national emergency and the expulsion of PAS from the BN coalition.
1978-89 - Vietnamese refugees benefit from unrestricted asylum.
Mahathir Mohamad Era:
1981 - Mahathir Mohamad becomes prime minister.
1989 - Local communist insurgents sign peace accord with government.
1990 - Sarawak communist insurgents sign peace accord with government.
1993 - Sultans lose legal immunity.
1997 - Asian financial crisis spells end of decade of impressive economic growth.
1998 - Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sacks his deputy and presumed successor, Anwar Ibrahim, on charges of sexual misconduct, against the background of differences between the two men over economic policy; Ibrahim arrested.
1999 - Ibrahim sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty on four counts of corruption, following a highly controversial trial.
2000 - Ibrahim found guilty of sodomy and sentenced to nine years in prison, on top of the six year jail sentence he was given in 1999.
2001 February - Government decides to proceed with construction of huge Bakun hydroelectric power project on island of Borneo despite serious environmental concerns.
2001 March - Dozens of people arrested during Malaysia's worst ethnic clashes in decades between Malays and ethnic Indians.
2001 April - Sporadic demonstrations against the Internal Security Act following the detention without trial of supporters of Anwar Ibrahim.
2001 June - Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin resigns without explanation.
2003 - Dr Mahatir retires from politics as Malaysia's longest serving PM.
Dawn of Another New Era:
2003 - New Prime Minister of Malaysia sworn in: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Above info courtesy of: http://news.bbc.co.uk website.
"Better far off to leave half the ruins and nine-tenths of the churches unseen and to see well the rest; to see them not once, but again and often again; to watch them, to learn them, to live with them, to love them, till they have become a part of life and life's recollections."
- Augustus Hare
Copyright (c) Krystynn 2003
Please do not take my personal pics without prior permission. Thanks.
Interested to view some interesting postcards I brought back from my many mini-visits to MALAYSIA? Then, please surf straight to my TRAVELOGUE: Postcards From Malaysia page. I hope you'll enjoy them.
I'll upload more postcard pics later. :-)
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